Physicians Perception towards Corticosteroids as Therapeutic Agent: A Survey
We surveyed 224 physicians including allopaths, surgeons and physician trained in complementary and alternative therapies (Ayurveda and Homeopathy) to systematically explore their perceptions about the corticosteroids as therapeutic agents by administering a questionnaire to allopaths and physician of complementary and alternative medicines to appraise their understanding about indications for corticosteroids, alternate day therapy, tapering of doses after prolonged use, need of concurrent calcium supplements and advice to be given to the patients while on corticosteroids. This survey reveals that 80% alternative therapeutics prescribe corticosteroids as compared to the allopathic physicians which are about 27.67%. About 24.53% of allopathic physicians showed concern to reporting adverse reactions as compared to about 13.8% the alternative physician. About 22.05% of the allopathic physicians who are post-graduated only could arrange the steroids in right order of potency, whereas only 33.87% of allopathic physicians and a meager 35.29% of alternative therapeutics could do this. The corticosteroid preferred for respiratory diseases were prednisolone, budesonide a dexamethasone by post-graduated allopaths, post-graduate allopathic pediatricians and alternative therapeutics respectively. On an average, 63% of the physicians advocated tapering of steroid therapy upon prolonged use. There were inconsistencies in the suggested indications for corticosteroids. The perceptions of physicians as revealed in this survey highlight the need of a handy reference about the clinical data on corticosteroids that may enable the physicians to rationally use corticosteroids. Personal interviews with the physicians and their replies to this survey have generated important data on the physician’s perceptions of steroid use.